Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Repaired Heated Vest
I ordered some 30 gauge Teflon insulated silver coated copper wire on eBay for under $5. At about this same time, I ordered a SAE Battery Fuse Cord from Areostich as I knew I was going to have to attach the vest to the motorcycle somehow and this seemed like the easiest way. When the wire came from eBay, I used one of my wife's sewing needles and threaded the thin 30 gauge wire through the eye of the needle. The vest has three layers, The outer fleece, the inner nylon and the center layer between the two, made out of cotton and there the heating wire is sandwiched. I then proceeded to sew the wire into the center cotton layer, following the wire that was already present. I sewed a total of 30 feet of wire. I cut the original wire from the crimp connectors and soldered the new wires to the existing crimp connectors. I wrapped the connectors in electrical tape, connected the vest to the bike battery and what do you know, it worked. I used an indoor/outdoor thermometer to see how much heat it was generating. Now, with the bike off, the vest heated up to about 90 degrees in about 3 minutes. I figure with the bike running, it should get a little warmer, but if you factor in the cold wind chill, it's hard to tell how warm it will keep me. I didn't have the bike running as I was in the basement with the bike. I finished by breaking out the wife's sewing machine and using pretty green thread, sewed up the bottom of the vest. Wrapped up the whole project and tucked it in one of the saddlebags, waiting for cooler weather.